Ethiopian Airlines soared back to the top of the African aviation scene as they reclaimed the prestigious title of ‘Africa’s Leading Airline’ at the 2023 World Travel Awards, which took place in Dubai for Africa and the Indian Ocean regions.
In a stunning comeback, Africa’s largest airline managed to regain the title it had held for three consecutive years, starting in 2018, before Kenya Airways took the crown in 2021. Kenya Airways had held the title for two consecutive years, making this year’s victory for Ethiopian Airlines a triumphant return to the top.
Ethiopian Airlines also scooped up additional accolades at the event, securing ‘Best Business Class’ and ‘Leading Airline Brand’ for 2023. With its vast network that spans over 150 domestic and international destinations across five continents, the airline’s influence in the industry is undeniable.
Kenya Airways, on the other hand, clinched the 2023 title of ‘Africa’s Leading Airline – Economy Class’ and ‘Africa’s Leading Inflight Magazine (Msafiri).’ Their wholly-owned subsidiary, Jambojet, was recognized as ‘Africa’s Leading Low-Cost Airline.’
Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards (WTA) have continuously celebrated excellence in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries. Notably, since the inception of WTA, South African Airways held the ‘Africa’s Leading Airline’ title for 22 consecutive years, starting in 1994 until Kenya Airways dethroned it in 2016.
In the years since the change, only Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways have held the prestigious title, each now boasting four victories.
At the time of this writing, Ethiopian Airlines had not yet issued a statement regarding their latest triumph.
In addition to the airline awards, Cape Town International Airport in South Africa was named ‘Africa’s Leading Airport’ for 2023, further underscoring the continent’s increasing significance in the global aviation landscape.
The recognition received at the World Travel Awards coincides with positive news for the African aviation industry. The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) reported in the second quarter of the year that air travel in Africa had continued to make a “robust recovery” post-pandemic, with air travel levels reaching 94.8% of 2019 figures. Nevertheless, the pandemic has since taken its toll on African airlines, with losses of $3.5 billion in revenue in 2022.
This year’s World Travel Awards 2023 ceremony showcased a diverse range of winners, highlighting the excellence and diversity of the African travel and tourism industry. Notable wins included:
– Africa’s Most Romantic Resort: Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort, Mozambique
– Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination: Nairobi, Kenya
– Africa’s Leading Business Hotel: Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Nigeria
– Africa’s Leading Airport Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport, Kenya
– Africa’s Leading Luxury Hotel: The Silo Hotel, South Africa
– Africa’s Leading Luxury Resort: One&Only Cape Town, South Africa
– Africa’s Leading Green Hotel: Cheetah Plains, South Africa
– Africa’s Leading Private Island Resort: Manda Bay, Kenya
– Africa’s Leading Luxury Island: Thanda Island, Tanzania
– Africa’s Leading National Park: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
– Africa’s Leading Conference Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre, Rwanda
– Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction: Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
– Africa’s Leading Beach Destination: Diani Beach, Kenya
– Africa’s Leading Beach Resort: Swahili Beach, Kenya
– Africa’s Leading Family Resort: Baobab Beach Resort & Spa, Kenya
– Africa’s Leading City Destination: Cape Town, South Africa
– Africa’s Leading Cruise Port: Port of Cape Town, South Africa
– Africa’s Leading Casino Resort: Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, Morocco
– Africa’s Leading Destination: Kenya
Note of Credit:We extend our appreciation to Mshale News for their valuable contribution to this article. Their insightful coverage and reporting significantly influenced the content and quality of this piece.